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Herpes come and go
Mar 5, 2001

Dear Ryan Your work is very appreciated. I believe that I'd done something very stupid. MY story is listed as following. On June, 2000, I had oral sex with two sex workers in Bangkok, Thailand, while I had business travelling over there. Both of the two exposures were with condom on my pennis. There was no kissing of licking involved. However, after 2 months or so. I had fever blister at the corner of my mouth. After 4 months of the two exposures, I took the HIV test and the result was neagtive. No other STD found too. On Feb 17, 2001, I had another sex exposure with a sex worker in Bangkok, Thailand again. The whole story is that I took a shower first. I had received oral sex again (with a condom). I was also fingering the sex worker with a condom on my finger too. I licked the sex worker's nipple. I took a shower again. After two weeks of the exposure, I had the fever blisters at the center of my mouth this time. I am scared to death. I know it's so stupid to make the same mistakes again, especially HIV is widely spreaded in this area. I am planning to take the HIV test again. From your answers for the other questions, I knew that the activities I involved are in low risk. However, the fever blister makes me nervous. The area of fever blister is small (about 2 mm), not itch or pain. The scar was generated within 3 days. My whole mouth is becoming very dry now. I don't know whether this is related to HIV infection. I guess what on my mouth should be herpes simplex I. It's a sympton for HIV infection. Please also post this message out, so there is no more people make the same mistake just like me. Don't do something stupid then feel regret later. I hope that the new medication, which can cure the AIDS can be found very soon, so that the people with AIDS can be saved. God bless eveybody.

Response from Mr. Kull

An oral herpes infection is acquired when your mouth comes into direct contact with the herpes virus. You cannot get oral herpes from only having genital contact with another person. If the first two sex workers only performed oral sex on you, then it is highly unlikely that your fever blisters are associated with those incidents.

It is possible that you already had an oral herpes infection at another point in your life and had an outbreak. Almost 90 percent of Americans are infected with HSV-1 (the type that typically causes cold sores/fever blisters around the mouth), mostly through non-sexual contact. There is no evidence that sporadic outbreaks of fever blisters are a sign of HIV infection.

Your risk for HIV infection is low since you took many precautions to engage in safer sex with the sex workers. Try not to be too hard on yourself.

RMK



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